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Deaths and Torture in Us Custody Commands Responsibility Feb2006

Deaths and Torture in Us Custody Commands Responsibility Feb2006

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Published by Guy Razer

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Published by: Guy Razer on Jan 05, 2009
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09/14/2012

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 A Human Rights First Report
Command’sResponsibility
Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan
Written by Hina Shamsi and Edited by Deborah PearlsteinFebruary 2006
Table of Contents
I. Introduction................................................................1II. Homicides: Death by Torture, Abuse or Force.........5Twelve Individual Cases Profiled....................6III. Death by Officially Unknown, “Natural”or Other Causes....................................................21Nine Individual Cases Profiled......................21IV. Failures in Investigation........................................29V. Failure of Accountability.........................................35VI. The Path Ahead....................................................41VII. Appendices..........................................................43VIII. Endnotes.......................................................... 103
 
Headquarters
333 Seventh Avenue13
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Floor New York,NY 10001-5108 Tel: 212.845.5200Fax: 212.845.5299
 www.humanrightsfirst.org  Washington D.C. Office
100 Maryland Avenue,N.E.Suite 500Washington,DC 20002-5625 Tel: 202.547.5692Fax: 202.543.5999
 About Us
Human Rights First is a leading human rights advocacy organiza-tion based in New York City and Washington,DC. Since 1978,wehave worked in the United States and abroad to create a secureand humane world – advancing justice,human dignity,andrespect for the rule of law. All of our activities are supported byprivate contributions. We accept no government funds.
 Acknowledgements
This report was written by Hina Shamsi and edited byDeborah Pearlstein.Others who contributed to the report are Maureen Byrnes,Avi Cover,Miriam Datskovsky,Ken Hurwitz,Allison Johnson,Priti Patel,Michael Posner,and Lauren Smith. Michael Russomade substantial contributions at all stages of research andreport-writing.Human Rights First would like to thank the many former militaryofficers and other experts who generously provided insights onaspects of the report.Human Rights First gratefully acknowledges the generous supportof the following: Anonymous (2); Arca Foundation; The AtlanticPhilanthropies; The David Berg Foundation; Joan K. Davidson(The J.M. Kaplan Fund); Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara MillerFoundation; The Elysium Foundation; FJC – A Foundation of DonorAdvised Funds; Florence Baker Martineau Foundation;Ford Foundation; The Arthur Helton Fellowship; Herb BlockFoundation; JEHT Foundation; John D. & Catherine T. MacArthurFoundation; John Merck Fund; The Kaplen Foundation; MerlinFoundation; Open Society Institute; The Overbrook Foundation;Puget Sound Fund of Tides Foundation; Rhodebeck CharitableTrust; The Paul D. Schurgot Foundation,Inc.; TAUPO CommunityFund of Tides Foundation; The Oak Foundation.Cover design: Sarah GrahamCover photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
 
 
Command’s Responsibility documents a dozen brutal deaths as the result of the most horrific treatment. One such incident would be an isolated transgression; two would be a serious problem; a dozen of them is policy.The law of military justice has long recognized that military leaders areheld responsible for the conduct of their troops. Yet this report alsodocuments that no civilian official or officer above the rank of major responsible for interrogation and detention practices has been charged inconnection with the torture or abuse-related death of a detainee in U.S.custody. And the highest punishment for anyone handed down in the caseof a torture-related death has been five months in jail. This is not accountability as we know it in the United States.
John D. HutsonRear Admiral (Ret.), JAGC, USN
The torture and death catalogued in excruciating detail by this important Human Rights First report did not happen spontaneously. They are theconsequence of a shocking breakdown of command discipline on the part of the Army’s Officer Corps. It is very clear that cruel treatment of detainees became a common Army practice because generals and colonels and majors allowed it to occur, even encouraged it. What isunquestionably broken is the fundamental principle of command accountability, and that starts at the very top. The Army exists, not just towin America’s wars, but to defend America’s values. The policy and  practice of torture without accountability has jeopardized both.
David R. IrvineBrig. Gen. (Ret.) USA

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